Pegasus Sports confirmed that eight riders from its 2010 Fly V Australia squad will make the transition to the European peloton in 2011.
For the past two years, the Fly V Australia Professional Cycling Team has cut a swathe through the North American professional scene, lighting up races with dominant displays, and in the process chalking up over 100 wins and more than 300 podium finishes. Fly V Australia finished the 2010 season as the top-ranked team in the United States. In 2011, the core riders who were responsible for much of this success will join Pegasus Sports’ European campaign. The riders, Australians Ben Day, Bernard Sulzberger, Jonathan Cantwell, Aaron Kemps and Jai Crawford; South Africans Darren Lill and Jay Thomson; and American Phil Zajicek, are all looking forward to the opportunity.
Fly V Australia team captain Ben Day said, “This is a great opportunity for all of us. Two years ago we started a journey and this is the next major step on that journey. Personally I’m thrilled to be heading back to Europe to compete in the biggest races, with my mates, in an Australian team that provides an environment where it is easy to thrive. To think that I may be part of an Australian team in the big races is unbelievably exciting!”
Former Astana rider Aaron Kemps is also looking forward to returning to Europe: “In my first European adventure, I was too young to really appreciate what I had, and didn’t make the most of my opportunities. This time it’s going to be different, and I can’t wait to be hitting the roads of Europe with my mates.”
For sprinter Jonathan Cantwell, racing in a top team on cycling’s biggest stage is the culmination of a lifelong dream: “I’ve been chasing this since I started cycling. Our program in the US has given me the opportunity to progress as a rider and show what I’m capable of. I’m ready to take the next step and I’m really looking forward to racing with and learning from my old sparring partner Robbie McEwen. He and I have had some great battles in races in Australia over the years, and to be on the same team as him will be incredible.”
The American climber Phil Zajicek was also upbeat: “I can’t wait. Europe 2011 is the culmination of years of hard work for a lot of people. Pegasus Sports has developed a highly successful program. Going to Europe has always been the goal, and to be able to go there with my band of brothers is just so special.”
Pegasus Sports CEO Chris White declared, “I’m ecstatic that so many of our Fly V Australia riders now get their chance to step up to the next level. This was always the plan, consistent with one of Pegasus’ goals to provide a pathway for young talent to build a foundation, develop and progress all the way to the highest levels in the sport. This is validation of our Pegasus Sports program.”
White added, “Trust and mateship are our core values at Pegasus Sports. I’m honouring a commitment that was made to the riders when we started this journey. I’ve kept my side of the bargain, and the riders have kept theirs. To see these guys take the next step on this journey together is truly satisfying.”